Harpenden maintained third place in London Two North West with a well-deserved bonus point win against Enfield Ignatians. With the forwards putting in a powerful performance and the back division often sparkling, there was much to admire about the display, which included pleasing debuts by lock Al Whittaker and teenage full-back Henry Simcott. It was the north Londoners though who scored first through Matt Pollard who crashed over for a try after just two minutes following a rolling maul.
However, Harps were level four minutes later when giant prop Sam Staff scored an almost identical try after a catch and drive from a line-out on Enfield’s five metre line. They then went ahead shortly afterwards when referee Phil Russell awarded them a penalty try after Enfield had tried to illegally block a rolling maul close to their try line. Although Harps appeared at this stage to be well in command, any thoughts by their supporters that the floodgates might then open proved unfounded as Enfield fought back hard which meant there was no further score in the half. Harps started the second half much the brighter of the two sides and within a minute scrum-half Fred Gulliford increased their lead when he rounded off a wonderful attacking move that saw the ball pass through several pairs of hands to score the try of the match. Stand-off Will Hales duly converted.
On 55 minutes number eight Ed Preston brought up the bonus point when he peeled off the back of a scrum to score a try under the posts (converted by Hales) and on 74 minutes flanker Tom Sanders scored a fifth try when he went over from a rolling maul. Enfield continued to make a game of it and were rewarded with two tries under Harps’ posts in the closing minutes from Gareth Rutt and Wes Warren before Hales kicked a penalty shortly before the final whistle.
Harps skipper Oli Lacey said: “I’m happy with that. We played very well at times against a good side and deserved to win. The only disappointment was conceding the two late tries which were down to a loss of concentration on our part.”
Harpenden’s next match is on Saturday when they travel to fourth-placed Chiswick.
Harpenden: Simcott, Wilkinson, Sach, Childs, Pennell; Hales, Gulliford; McLoughlin, Murphy, Staff, Whittaker, Lacey, Rolfe, Sanders, Preston. Replacements: Campion, Moyle, Wheatley.